Sunday, May 18, 2008

What If New Jersey Is Next?

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Is a Wedding in Pat's and My Future?

Evan Wolfson was quoted in today's "New York Times" by Kim Severson:
What you are doing is not just getting a piece of paper, you are getting married and you are as married as just about anybody on the planet. That's how we need to talk about it and understand it ourselves....Getting married in California doesn't solve your day-to-day problems [e.g., being able to give your spouse your Social Security benefits] but that's what civil rights look like.

I don't want to seem churlish or disrespectful, since Evan Wolfson has made marriage equality his life's work, but his bio mentions nothing about his being married himself. It makes him less credible to me because that's how literal I am. If it's so vital, why hasn't he himself married, I wonder...and then I feel guilty, since I know nothing of his life circumstances. And I know how lucky I am to have Pat's companionship, and how elusive love maybe he just hasn't yet found the one.

"Bride and Prejudice" and "The Savages"

Last night, Pat and I watched a double-feature at home -- the most upbeat and least we've seen in a long time, back to back.

Spoiler alert: I will be revealing some of the plot of each film:

As a Freudian slip, above, I typed, "Brides and Prejudice" initially. The Indian film made us miss India more fiercely than we expected -- particularly the music and the colors, which were among our favorite features of living there for six months. It was also interesting and not surprising to watch the prejudice of both families at the prospect of their Indian daughter and white, American son marrying each other.

The second film was darkly funny, but ultimately, made me sad about the childrens' approaches to finding and keeping love, or not. Also, when their father began suffering from dementia, the children put him in a nursing home; the son told the daughter, "We're treating him much better than he ever treated us!"

Having just watched the Indian film, where the American remarked on his admiration for the closeness of Indian families (compared to his, where he was raised by a nanny essentially), I imagined that no such plot as that of "The Savages" would be realistic in an Indian film. No matter how one's parents had treated him or her, I would imagine an Indian adult child, taking in his or her parents or in-laws into his or her home to live with the rest of the family till death....Pat did tell me that India does not offer Social Security, and so that's part of it, but it's also part of the culture to care for older parents.

What Is Our Fate?

Let's say New Jersey comes through by this time next year. Would Pat and I "jump the broom?" After nearly 16 years together and an official, New Jersey domestic partnership, why fix what isn't broken? If a year from now, either of our parents -- God forbid -- suffered from dementia, would we encourage her to live in a nursing home? Yes, though an Indian could not relate to that decision, I know.

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